California’s first GeoTour in GeoTours & reward geotrails Posted January 23, 2016 Milpitas began this practice last year. Groundspeak contacted me 3/9/15 saying, "Greetings from Geocaching HQ. This is in relation to your cache GCPDNT - Duckey. We've recently received notice that the City of Milpitas would like to place a cache in front of their nearby community center. But, the coordinates are too close to Duckey so it cannot yet be published. The issue is that Duckey apparently does not have permission from the City to be placed, thus could be archived based on the permission requirements listed in the Geocaching guidelines. But, I wanted to reach out to you about this issue to see if you would like to move the location of Ducky so that the City could place their cache in front of the center as requested. If you would not like to move it, I'm afraid Duckey would need to be archived. Please let me know how you'd like to proceed. I've notified the reviewer of this communication.” I was shocked and saddened because I've lived in the area since Milpitas really was still 'a place of little cornfields', and my geocache had been in the same spot for 10 years bringing geocachers to Milpitas since 6/22/05. For those 10 years it had highlighted a hidden but beautiful community pond area that includes unique artwork and memorials. I replied that I would move it, but also explaining the situation and asking to cooperate with the city on the hide instead of moving it, but was declined. I appealed and was declined. I was disappointed, but did not want to archive, so I persisted in searching for a nearby spot and after a number of tries I was able to find another spot for my geocache. I was then dismayed when the city's new cache went live 3/23/15, and it turned out to indeed be at the front of the Community Center with heavy foot traffic, and forcing geocachers to walk through the planted area to get to it under the front window. So much for the city's beautiful unique location my geocache had brought hundreds of geocachers to before I was forced to move it. I see now that the same cache has become the first in the GeoTour series, GC5NWTH, but it looks as though the city has moved it a bit. At the time this happened to me I was disappointed with what I thought was an overeager Milpitas Parks and Recreation employee who had discovered geocaching, but who was unwilling to work with a long-time geocacher. I was also disappointed with the reviewer and with Groundspeak for not better educating the city staff. City staff could have chosen to embrace the grassroots nature of how geocaching came to be in the first place and embrace the amazing group of people who comprise the local geocaching community. To see this GeoTour now playing out as it has is sad. While it does look as though an attempt was made to engage the cache owners, it looks as though the city either was still not fully informed of the impact their actions would have or they were told, but again chose to go down the path they did anyway. I see that BearTerritory, who also grew up in the area, has provided suggestions. I hope they are taken to heart and that the city staff targets a date for archiving their GeoTour caches that caused the archives and then allows the affected geocachers to have their geocaches unarchived. Given that this is being announced as California’s first GeoTour and similar programs have occurred and are being developed elsewhere I also hope Jeremy, Elias, Bryan, the Lackeys, and Reviewers are taking note in order to help other cities avoid the same missteps.